Ironically the utility of fortran has only grown with time. Modern fortrans embrace parallel computing by having constructs that are inherently parallel; for example loops which announce they are parallel and can be done out of order and matrix operations as language primitives. One great innovation is the combination of python and fortran. You do things with precisely defined memory boundaries that are compiled to maximum efficiency using the simple clean fortran, and you do the messy stuff of memory allocations and references and exotic libraries and user interfaces in the python. No need to extend the fortran language and make is slower-- just put the non-speed critical stuff in the python part. With the rise of GPUs and their rigidly defined memory limits fortran is a nice fit. You actually want a constrained language for that. It's really an ideal combination. Fortran compiles so fast its even possible to have python write the fortran on the fly and then call it.
That's nonsense. What the union negotiates for depends on what the union members vote for, so you don't have to put things like "can't promote people to management" into the contract if you don't want it.
A example of the kinds of things a union could organize for programmers if one existed:
- Limits on and payment for overtime, after-hours and weekend work.
- Office conditions. Usually that isn't an issue, but if it is and your choices are "deal with it" or "quit", you may want a third option.
- Hiring standards that prevent a true idiot from ever working at the company.
- And yes, minimum pay agreements.
There have been incidents here of NYCs finast shooting some poor schmucks who were guilty of just answering the front door "while being mexican or of driving a car "while being tipsy and black" and getting themselves shot dead.
"Quis custodiet ipso custodes" indeed.
Does this work for the locks on my house? The dial on my safe?
You're asking this of guys who'll kick down your door if you don't open it fast enough and run in with weapons blazing?
There are at least 3 counters to that:
1. There are not an insignificant number of cases where a normally responsible person becomes an irresponsible person, either due to extreme emotion or mind-altering substances like alcohol. A responsible person and a gun isn't typically a problem. An irresponsible person and a gun is frequently a deadly problem.
2. How do you sort out who's responsible and who's not responsible? If, for instance, I'm talking to somebody I don't know at a gun show, I have no idea whether I'm dealing with a fine upstanding citizen like yourself, or a suicidal PTSD-suffering war veteran who's planning on going on a killing spree and dying in a shootout with the police.
3. If you can print a gun, irresponsible people can print a gun and use it to kill responsible people like you.
4. The measures that have gotten the NRA in an uproar recently are (1) universal background checks, which would help me in the previous scenario figure out whether I'm about to sell my AR-15 to a responsible citizen or a convicted murderer who was just released on parole, and (2) allowing absolutely anyone to print a gun, which means that that murderer can still get the most convenient tool for killing people available without any difficulty.
That doesn't work:
- Once upon a time, the lawful government of a powerful country tried to kill all the members of an upstart religious group that was worshipping some guy who (they claimed at least) the government executed for high treason. That upstart religious group is now the most popular and most powerful religion in the world.
- Once upon a time, the lawful government of a powerful country tried to kill everyone who believed that citizens should be equal. That government was overthrown.
- Once upon a time, the lawful government of a powerful country put down a major rebellion of almost 1/3 of the country by force over the course of about 5 years of fighting. 150 years later, there are still thousands of people who think that the rebels were right, and the symbols of that rebellion are still frequently seen, most commonly in the area where the rebellion started.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
And offers both worse service/schedules and en route service than either.
The en route service is actually significantly nicer than buses or planes: You get about 2-3 times as much leg room, on some routes there's a full-service diner on board, and there's almost always a lounge / cafe car with very comfortable seating and snacks for sale. Some of the Europeans I've run into say that Amtrak's on-board experience compares favorably to what they get in their countries, even if the trains are slower.
For long distance trains, part of the appeal for some is seeing the country from what is in effect a moving hotel room. Neither buses nor trains really offer that.
Also, quite interestingly, it's the standard way to travel long distances for Amish and Mennonites.
And, of course, Congress let the railroads prioritize Amtrack, on the leased trackage, *lower* than the frieght traffic, leading to frequent *long* delays of schedule.
Not exactly. What happened was this:
- In the early days of Amtrak, railroads were required by law to prioritize Amtrak over freight traffic.
- In the 1980's, Congress quietly slipped in a provision at the behest of railroad lobbyists that said that while railroads were still required by law to prioritize Amtrak, Amtrak no longer had the power to sue the railroads to enforce that rule. This of course allowed the railroads to ignore the law, since no one could enforce it.
- George W Bush of all people got through a repeal of that provision. I'm unclear why or how this happened, but I'll take it.
- Trains sped up noticeably on leased track after that provision went through. For instance, in 2002 the Chicago-Boston route was frequently 4-6 hours late in both directions due to freight traffic. By 2009, it was mostly on time again. (I mention this route just because I've taken it many times over the years.)
There at one point was a serious proposal to get a high-speed rail line starting from San Diego and expanding north. It got shot down by Orange County, because the residents were worried that those trains would bring the wrong sort of people into their neighborhood.
Not true. By the 1490s, it had already been pretty well established that the earth was round. It was the uneducated masses and official church dogma that this was not true, and this created a climate where openly saying the earth was round was not exactly a safe position to take.
This is untrue on many many levels:
1. The Earth was established quite conclusively as round and had been measured to within about 1000km by about 250 BCE. The Flat Earth Theory was not even considered remotely seriously by the 1490's.
2. The church dogma and common knowledge at the time was not that the Earth was flat, but that the spherical Earth was the center of the universe, and that the moon, planets, sun, and stars moved around it (the church dogma was that God made them move the way they appeared to move). That's what Galileo got in trouble for challenging, not the Flat Earth Theory.
3. The reason you're thinking that some people thought the world was flat in the 1490's is that Washington Irving made up the story over 300 years later to make Christopher Columbus seem more heroic than he really was, and history textbooks have been repeating the lie ever since. The real story is that the Earth was known to be much larger than Columbus was claiming in his sales pitch, so when smart monarchs consulted their scholars (or their own learning) they had every reason to believe Columbus was either a charlatan or an idiot, and turned him down. The only reason Columbus discovered anything was the fairly weak Spanish monarchy's desperation for a way around the Middle East and sheer dumb luck.
All arguments about complex topics require appeals to authority. For instance, if I argue that F=ma for ordinary-sized objects, I'm going to appeal to authority and cite Isaac Newton and numerous physicists since then, rather than stop my argument and prove that point by re-doing Isaac Newton's much more competent work on the subject.
Appeals to authority are fine when:
1. The authority is legitimately an expert in the field in question.
2. What that authority is saying matches what other authorities say (if they don't agree, then you have to dive into the details of why they say what they say in order to legitimately use their opinion).
The same person can be both an authority and not an authority. For instance, if we're discussing linguistics, Noam Chomsky is a qualified authority who's views are pretty widely accepted in the field. If we're discussing international law, he's not, and if you want to argue his viewpoint you need to cite the better-qualified authorities that Chomsky references to argue his point.
If you don't want to read the extended analysis, just watch Penn and Teller (hardly left-wingers) showing Luntz in action:
Bleep You, Frank
What about a situation in which 97.1% of people studying something come to a particular conclusion, while the 2.9% don't actually produce any evidence but merely claim that the evidence of the 97.1% is insufficient, while many of them just happen to be on the payroll of people who have a major financial interest in the conclusion in question not being true?
Because this is basically what the conversation looks like right now:
97.1%: "Foo points to this conclusion."
2.9%: "No, that's not enough evidence. What about Bar?"
97.1%: "We spent a couple of years looking at Bar, and that points to the same conclusion."
2.9%: "Well, but what about Foobar?"
97.1%: "After another couple of years of study, we know that Foobar points to the same conclusion."
2.9%: "Well, but what about Baz?"
This will continue until the consequences of the conclusion cause major disruptions to the status quo.
And I should point out that there's no real relationship between the beliefs of scientists and the beliefs of the general public, while there is a relationship between the beliefs of scientists and actually proven scientific truth. For instance, approximately 100% of biologists believe that the Theory of Evolution is basically right, while only 54% of the American public agrees with them.
No, that's not why they're up to no good. The reason is because the guy was carrying Skittles and a bottle of iced tea, not because he's darker-skinned, young, and wearing a hoodie.
It also includes all the people who live near me that I think are Muslim. I don't have any evidence that they're doing anything bad, but I'm scared of them because of what Osama bin Laden did to us, so I think you should investigate them for terrorism.
My list also can include, for an appropriate fee, any prominent members of political groups that opposed you in the previous election.